Tag Archives: dj muro



Bar the feather filled jackets I used to gawp at, Tom Penny’s fabled boots and the occasional temptation by Vibe ads for Body Jar outerwear, Columbia has never grabbed me like North Face, Patagonia and Arc’teryx did, but that late 1980s collection of ultra tech, interchangeable ski jackets in the insane colour combinations like the Vamoose Parka and the Powder Keg always grabbed my attention. I always assumed that Columbia embraced the fashion crowd a little earlier than most and made the decision to be built overseas long before the majority too, but the story of the brand, from the late 1930s start by fleeing Nazi Germany and purchasing the Rosenfeld Hat Company to make it the Columbia Hat Company to the 1960 switch to the Columbia Sportswear Company, is an interesting one.

The matriarchal nature of the company after Gert Boyle took over after her husband passed in 1970 (the ad above is from 1968) gave it a point-of-difference over other outdoor brands of the era, with Gert and her sons’ battles over the colours and modernity of the 1980s creations (the campaign started around 1984) being a key part of the marketing strategy. Given that an 80-something Gert fought off some wannabe kidnappers a couple of years ago, the ads weren’t too far from the truth. Gert Boyle is also credited as creating the brand’s first fishing vest in 1960 and, while the brand is currently taking on the might of GORE-TEX with Omni-Dry, they were putting the iconic household name membrane into a parka back in 1975, which makes them one of the first to use it on a coat.

Boyle helping steer the brand from near-bankruptcy to a publicly traded one by 1998, and taking in Sorel and Mountain Hardwear along the way, is near miraculous. The copywriting on the ski jacket ads stays classic and 1983’s GORE-TEX and Thinsulate Delta Marsh Parka is no joke.









Mr Leo Sandino-Taylor a upped an interesting image on his Instagram from the Stanley Kubrick exhibition during its Los Angeles residency of the mystery man posing for a photograph in some Nike Air Mad Maxes. It was so good, I had to borrow it for here, so go follow him to make up for my theft. If the Footscape is the Cassavetes of the Nike line and the AM1 is Spielberg, the recycled rubber and reinforced precision and mild eccentricity of the Mad Max is kind of appropriate for Stanley, even though I’d say the Huarache was a better shoe representation of him. Like the excellent Air Max Racer from around the same time, you don’t see many pictures of the Mad Max and to see them on the feet of a rarely seen man is even better. This one trumps the Jordan Vs on David Fincher and might be the greatest sportswear on a non-athlete moment since Bob Marley wore Marathon TRs. Especially since Saville in Air Max became less of a cause for celebration, given recent revelations. Seriously, if any one image sums up what this blog is about, it’s STANLEY KUBRICK WEARING A PAIR OF NIKE AIR MAD MAX.


First of all, fuck you if you didn’t like Devin the Dude and, while I can understand you not hearing the cult classic that is the Odd Squad album where his career commenced (though its been ZIP and RAR filed heavily since people used YouSendIt links), you should track it down. There’s not too many albums you can pitch to the next generations, because the younger heads won’t care for the sameness of Hard Knocks’ long player regardless of how wide-eyed you are about it, but there’s too much going on with 1994’s ‘Fadanuf Fa Erybody’ to ignore.

It’s so creative and funky (yeah, I said it and I make a point of never using “funky” in vain), that it’s the perfect accompaniment to Outkast’s debut from the same year. In fact, this Rap-A-Lot classic is so good that Rob Quest from the group being blind was largely rendered irrelevant by the strength of the music (check out this excellent Noz interview with Rob from earlier this summer). The mooted follow-up that ‘Rap Pages’ discussed back in 1999 never happened, but it’s worth noting that what constituted a serious brick in 1994 is different from 2012’s failures — ‘Fadanuf…’ shifted just under 70k and the group despaired, but Nicki Minaj’s ‘Roman Reloaded: the Re-Up’ shifted 34,501 last week and still landed at 28 on the Billboard 200. Tokyo’s DJ Muro is shifting some of his own gear on his DIGOT site and he’s selling this promo Odd Squad t-shirt that’s awesome enough to get married or buried in.




I can’t help but think that Master P’s No Limit Soldier Gear could’ve flourished in the current climate of camo. P Miler was never actually worn by anybody and can never come back, but Soldier Gear was rugged before you were reading ‘Free & Easy.’ Actually, didn’t Dame get the State Property division of Rocawear when everything fell apart? That might have worked in the workwear and military pattern wave too. He could have resurrected his cash-flow with that one and maybe the Curren$y (a former No Limit man himself) and his lawsuit wouldn’t have hit so hard then. The line art that came in 1998 No Limit releases beats most brand lookbooks and that mix of camouflage, basketball short styles and fleecewear is all over the place this season. That’s word to Fiend and Mia X.

I still want to know if Givenchy could put out the leather camo baseball jersey in XXL and create a hype. No sooner was the basement of Macy’s awash with rapper endorsed gear, than everything fell apart again. But I think my urge to own a Coke Boys tee indicates that the reign of the oversized rapper gear (as opposed to lame attempts to step into the arena with attempts at luxury goods) is returning, even if jorts are still the epitome of strugglewear. I recent read Master P’s ‘Guaranteed Success’ (after all, this guy was making the current wave of ‘Forbes’ list rap dudes look like paupers in 1999) and while it was enjoyable, I still haven’t bought an entire block and put an full-sized solid gold tank in the hallway of my home. Hopefully the Ice Cream Man’s teachings will allow me to have a $600 million fortune when I start brand building, based on his work.

Before any rappers (bar the adidas Run-DMC sweats — Troop LL apparel was trash) seemed to have their own “proper” gear, Japan’s Major Force label had me obsessing over their windbreakers with the arrowed logos on the back. I never knew anybody cool enough to have the hook up, but this more subdued Major Force brand jacket that recently appeared on DJ Muro’s King INC Diggermart is a powerful piece of rap memorabilia. The ‘Strong Force From Orient’ on the label in the wacky font is a particularly strong look. Is it from 1989 when that tape dropped? Or newer? I know some of y’all are way more nerdy than me and can answer that. In fact, the whole Major Force clothing story is one that’s never been fully explained to me.

So ‘Dredd’ is apparently pretty good. Who knew? I don’t actually hate the 1995 ‘Judge Dredd’ as much as I should do, but that’s because I quite liked the Mean Machine build. Mr. Chris Cunningham is the man behind that creation, because he was on the makeup department for that film. Now he’s back and built big robots that fired lasers in association with Audi. Nowness had a great little bit of background on it yesterday. Cunningham’s work defies category, but there’s always that shrill, clanking, biomechanic Shinya Tsukamoto ‘Tetsuo, the Iron Man’ aura that takes me back to my comic shop working days. Cunningham himself could helm his own Judge Dredd flick.

Chris Cunningham: jaqapparatus1 on Nowness.com.

‘Sang Bleu’ has an aesthetic that’s been ripped off more times than I’d care to name — from the imagery to the fonts, Maxime’s vision gets borrowed time and time again. The difference is, that whereas your average Air Max 1 to Van Assche, Nike blog gone Style Zeitgeister can be a little shaky with that look, Maxime Büchi and the Blue Blood squad live this. Shipping a magazine that’s nearly twice the weight of a phone book is a challenge and issue #6 has 700 pages without a single advertisement. To describe it as a tattoo magazine would be missing the point a tad and the £75 cost is a testament to the deranged amount of work that ‘Sang Bleu’s editorial squad have put into this issue. These are being printed to order, so order now if you want a copy when it goes to press at the end of this month. If you’re in a creative field, you’ll probably pilfer at least a couple of ideas from it, so take the time out to put some money into this endeavour.


I’m on holiday, so I’m taking a holiday from even attempting to make anything in this blog entry particularly cohesive. I forgot it was Wednesday, so I’m just chucking the contents of the tabs on Chrome and what’s in my Gmail up here — I hope it’s sufficient. Anyway, you shouldn’t even be here — you should be on Egotripland reading this piece on the making of the ‘Lil’ Ghetto Boy’ video.

One of the most interesting things I’m currently looking at is Will Robson-Scott (the man behind the lens on ‘Crack & Shine’ 1 and 2) and James Pearson-Howes’s ‘Top Deck’ project with Mother and London clothing brand Utile (all London everything) of images shot from the top deck of London buses. Having spent more hours than I’d liked to have spent gawping from double deckers down at London, the traffic choked leisurely pace has given me some interesting perspectives of the city and the behaviour of those who dwell in it. It’s a shame that I’m usually too irate to appreciate them, but Will and James’s images should resonate with any of us who aren’t stupid or rich enough to attempt to navigate it by car.

Launching as an exhibition downstairs at Mother (Leonard Street) on Thursday and being printed and collated in a newspaper format, ‘Top Deck’ celebrates a ubiquitous but oft-squandered view. Two years of dreary journeys documented is proof that we take our surroundings for granted and if I didn’t only use buses over the underground in a hapless attempt to save time, meaning I’m too agitated to relax and just absorb the overhead view. At least the Routemaster (and the new reworking of it) offers more scope to get lost in a flight of fantasy than the curious tension — of wild-eyed fidgeting loners, screwfacing women having to stand with a pushchair and sweating fare dodgers — that’s present on each and every bendy bus. Go grab the publication here or attend the exhibition and grab it while you’re there, but make sure to check out the tie-in Tumblr.

What could be more British than staring from a bus? How about a mug made to commemorate a UK hip-hop favourite? Like a ‘Fat Lace’ joke made physical, the ‘Serve Tea Then Murder’ mug from Style Warrior sees the makers of tie-in Brit rap merchandise with the nod from the referenced artists and labels shift from cotton to glazed ceramics. It started as forum banter, but now Style Warrior is taking pre-orders on them. Brilliantly at odds with the po-faced, harder than hardcore content of the record, the 1991 Music of Life release provides the no-nonsense imagery and lettering here. Consume enough caffeine from it and you too can be a No Sleep Nigel. While plenty of Britcore releases leave me a little cold in 2012, creations like this hot drink receptacle remind me of the kind of mad merchandise I’ve seen in Tokyo hip-hop outlets over the years.

In fact, the quest for the Sophnet Nike ACG Mt. Fuji jacket from ’07 in an XL led me to hero and all-round nice guy, DJ Muro’s King Inc. site and its Diggermart pages again. But I’ve blogged about them a couple of times before. What caught my eye was the bizarre key charm from Lil ‘ Limo in association with Muro and for Warp Magazine’s birthday last year. ‘Sesame Street’s Elmo in multiple colours with a ‘King of Diggin’ tape and 45 attached? Why the fuck not? Only in Tokyo could something like this exist, yet it sits alongside the Elmo that Raekwon cradled for Supreme, or Agallah’s ‘Crookie Monster’ as a strange piece of Jim Henson hip-hop tie-in. Anyone else remember the official Cookie Monster DJ Muro sweat with the crazed creature munching on vinyl. Nobody got quite as sick with the hip-hop imports as Japan did, and I’m preoccupied with the footage — from the ‘Wild Style’ tour to that eye opening 1994 Yo! episode where Fab 5 Freddy returned and did his awkward language barrier thing to look at amazing record stores, and beyond.

While we’re talking YouTube videos, every Onyx video between 1992 and 2002 is on there as a compilation in cleaned-up quality, plus the Bad Brains CBGB show from Christmas Eve, 1982 in better quality than the hundredth generation VHS look of most hardcore show documents from that era.

And for the sake of it, here’s a Shawn Stüssy interview from ‘Spin’s December 1991 issue. It’s not the most enlightening feature, but it was available and this blog entry’s lacking, so I upped it.



I grew up watching teen gang-related films. Some were credible and some of my favourites (the Sean Penn ‘Bad Boys’ being a strong example) were downright daft. Whether it was ‘Boulevard Nights’ or ‘Quadrophenia,’ there’s been a fair degree of melodrama. The best examples are coming-of-age creations, but too often there’s too much lofty talk and angst. I always found being a teen in a provincial town to be bollockings in the classroom, boredom, the occasional contraband amusement and senseless blasts of depressingly memorable brutality delivered with a casual ferocity. That’s what Peter Mullan manages to capture with ‘NEDS’—a final entry in the unofficial trilogy of masterful misery he started with 1997’s ‘Orphans’—and it’s underpinned with a strong narrative

Most things in the 1970s looked grim, but Glasgow looks notably dreary, meaning teenage kicks give way to teenage stabbings, bottlings and teenage paving slabs to the head. There’s a curious mix of surreal flourishes and total realism at work here too. First timer Conor McCarron’s performance as John is a hard-faced evolving study in simmering rage—one of the best performances in years, while Mullan is a repulsive drunken father with a deathwish who brings an extra depth and deftly avoids the self-pitying pitfalls of hard life cliché. From recognisable menace to dreamlike oddity, ‘NEDS’ is a masterpiece. It’s not about using the accuracy of the wardrobe’s team aptitude for obtaining synthetic fabrics of the era as a selling point – this is truthful, terrifying cinema.

The scene of a fatalistic two-fisted knifing spree to eerie electronics alone confers a viewing. Scottish period gang cinema is hardly a subgenre, but this impresses as much as Gillies MacKinnon’s ‘Small Faces’ did back in 1996 – that in itself was a poorly promoted film, dropping in the opiate haze of the excellent ‘Trainspotting’ and with a more deliberate pace compared to Danny Boyle’s kinetic approach. There’s room in my heart for this solemn, joyless treatment of teen war as well as the gleeful silliness of Kim Chapiron’s ‘Dog Pound.’


What’s up with folk gloating about the BAPE situation at the moment? The streetwear industry owes much of its existence to the house that Nigo built and many would do well to have taken tips from BAPE’s plus points rather than biting the more lurid elements. I would sold vital organs to have laid my hands on an ‘APE SHALL NEVER KILL APE’ tee. James Lavelle seemed to have the hookup, but £50 for a tee if and when one cropped up made it out of my league. Prior to that, does anyone remember the BAPE windbreaker in ‘The Face’ circa 1994, with a gloating write up that indicated this would never be in your personal possession?

It was a tiered acquisition mission—after succeeding in identifying the item, where on earth were you meant to obtain it from? And when you found the fabled spot, would it time with a drop date? And thus, a legend was born – western influences honed, gloriously repackaged and sold back to us in a fetishistic style we could never match. Shawn Mortensen’s fabled shot of Biggie in a borrowed BAPE camo or the short-lived Gimme 5 Very Ape spinoff were a huge inspiration to me. Best of all, on laying your hands on some BAPE apparel, the thickness of material, tiny two-sided tab and build with shrink resistance in mind seemed to justify the hunt. Every brand could learn a lot from BAPE’s approach to marketing and product. The majority seem to imitate the more obvious elements of the company’s output.

This article is very interesting indeed.


DJ Muro isn’t just one of the greatest DJs on the planet—he’s the man behind some of the most bugged-out collaborations on the planet. I’ve bored of most double and triple acts, but Muro and King Inc. (plus SAVAGE! too) has maintained my interest by creating the sort of thing that would blow my mind on a Tokyo visit as I attempt to understand how it came into fruition. I’m loving the latest creation—the resurrection of Avirex outerwear in conjunction with Muro and, just because two partners isn’t enough, Memphis soul kingpins Stax. It looks like the imagery of the Memphis Sound has been applied to an MA-1 style design. After the North Face x SAVAGE! pieces, Muro x UCS x Porter 7 inch box and SAVAGE! x Carhartt x Stüssy Active Jacket, this is another unexpected creation that’s up there with the A Tribe Called Quest x Gravis x X-Large output in the XXX stakes.


The new ‘GQ’ is a marked improvement on recent issues and the rare interview opportunity with Dick Gregory makes March’s issue very necessary. But with the new issue comes some significant news—I welcome any new spot for magazines in London, and around February 21st, Condé Nast Publications are opening Condé Nast Worldwide News—a store located in Vogue House on London’s St George Street promises 130 different Condé Nast titles from 25 countries. Designed by Ab Rogers to display the magazines like a museum in a carefully lit white and yellow environment, I’m looking forward to seeing the output. More technical types can browse digital editions on some wall-mounted iPads and hopefully it’ll sell Vogue Nippon at a more reasonable price than the usual £17 fee. But I doubt it.


Extra-curricular copy-writing has prevented this entry from being anything approaching conceptual. It’s just a mindspray of things currently exciting me at this very moment in time. Things that hype me, even though this isn’t a hype blog, unless you’re very, very odd. Like me. Does that make it a neo-hype site? Fuck knows. This began life as a rant about the launch of the Pretty Green store on Carnaby Street, which is fitting, since the gear is as credible as a rasta wig/hate combination from the tat stores a few doors down. If wearing a fisherman’s hat like Lennon and a twatty little scarf is your idea of style, you’re beyond help. Same goes for Kasabian fans. Knobheads from Leicester play at abstraction and fail, because they’re abysmal. Bet they get a guest line with Pretty Green next year.

And breathe.

What’s good out there that can restore the disturbance in the force (incidentally — everyone collaborating with Lucasfilm is 13 years too late — the airlock closed just after they botched the Return of the Jedi conclusion)? Plenty of things. The impending Guillermo del Toro remake of ’70s TV-movie ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’ is amassing interest after initial redux eye-rolling. It’s not a Platinum Dunes creation, and del Toro knows how to give you chills {‘The Devil’s Backbone’ remains underrated, despite the plaudits – one of the best ghost stories ever filmed). If you’ve never seen the original, it’s a curiously mean-spirited tale of a woman tormented by walnut-headed monkey demons, Cheap, grim and very, very disturbing. The teaser footage of the remake reportedly made a roomful of nerds shit themselves, and seeing as comic book artist Troy Nixey is at the helm, the poster’s cool too. An “R’ rating just for being frightening? This could match the phenomenal ‘Drag Me To Hell’ next year. Speaking of nightmarish TV -movies, ‘Bobby’ from 1977’s ‘Dead of Night’ was all shades of wrong too.

Preoccupied with the crazier end of the skate spectrum this weekend, it was a good time to dredge up some Sean Sheffey footage to re-watch. In the process I found out that not only did crazy Mark “Gator” Rogowski (eff that Anthony shit) go buckwild that fateful day in 1991, a teenager called Gator Collet, who changed his name by deed poll from Jeremy in tribute to Mark, was put away for murder in 1993 too. Now that’s taking idol emulation to the next level. The mad skater obsession is timely, as the Antwuan Dixon Epicly Later’d goes live on VBS next week. In honour of Antwuan, and Rogowski’s ill-fated conversion, the best of both worlds was manifested in the legendary Lennie Kirk, whose 1991 Alien Workshop ‘Time Code’ section is classic and reputedly the reason for his sudden switch to christianity. According to legend, Lennie awoke from the dumpster head crack at 0:35 born again like Mark Gottlieb in ‘Neighbours’ when he went god bothering after a blow to the noggin. Lennie got over it and reportedly robbed a taxi driver with a sawn-off. He’s in prison but stays a hero in my eyes, and this gospel-soundtracked clip remains timeless. Stay up, Lennie.

The ’30 for 30′ ESPN rollout hit new heights with Jeff Tremaine’s ‘The Birth of Big Air’ documentary, produced by Spike Jonze about another berserker — Mat Hoffman. That should be online on this YouTube channel very soon for the non-US fanboys and girls.

Over the last week I’ve realised there’s some fundamental omissions to recent entries here with regards to Larry Clark, burgers and UK -brands and their t-shirts. So consider the following a postscript of sorts.

Forget the speculation. The Meatwagon does offer the best burger in the UK by a serious distance. On some recon regarding an upcoming BBQ event, work and burger love collided. The ‘Hippy’ burger that was on sale in their tucked-away Peckham industrial estate location on friday was a fine reproduction of an Animal-Style Double-Double at In-N-Out, fried with mustard and the basic cheeseburger was a work of art too. It might even be one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten. As ‘Free Bird’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd began to play on the van’s stereo as I swallowed the last mouthful, for a few brief seconds, all was right with the world. This burger you cannot change. Check the interview with Yianni, the man behind the van here. He really is very serious about beef and buns.

In talking about Brits and t-shirts, the always-ace Original Store just dropped their ‘Black Cowboy’ tee with the mighty Faithfanzine. Nice design, and the prospect of a free mix CD’s a winner too. A great expansion from Farley and company after their Firmament Boy’s Own shirts came and went in Berlin last year. Faithfanzine was always a great read, as was the Boy’s Own anthology. Gentleman and scholar Mr Jason Jules’s piece on Cuts in Soho was a good inclusion too. For some reason Farley and company weather the retrospective storm by staying open-minded, whereas the Factory-bores up north managed the impossible, and made Joy Division seem dull just by NEVER SHUTTING THE FUCK UP ABOUT THE HACIENDA. Thus projects like this neatly sidestep the shittiness of backward-thinking Pretty Green projects and stay gold. I miss the FUC51 blog already, but their final entry last month was a good ‘un —

We’re off. It’s been real, thanks for the memories. Remember back in January? The posts were stronger and cost £15 to read, and hardly any fucker used to come here. Needless to say, those that did have all got book deals now.

DJ Muro’s King Inc. Digger Mart remains one of the most accurate electronic reproductions of random Tokyo rap-related shopping experiences. I’ve revisited since my last blog entry on it to coincide with the news that DJ Muro mixes might be a whole lot easier to find on these shores in coming months. A couple of good buddies seem to be involved in the European release of some upcoming goodness. Muro and Savage might be the minds behind my favourite collaborations, but Digger Mart always has something to make me double take. Beyond the TLC longbox and Dolemite VHS collection, personal picks this time were the Troop LL Cool J releases, a security t-shirt for an Earth, Wind & Fire show, a Budweiser plaid shirt, a paisley Hilfiger number and a Tommy Boy cap with a suede peak. I love Digger Mart.

After the ‘Kids’ post I realised I’d forgotten to mention the talking heads footage that’s been on YouTube for a couple of years regarding the film’s production. I’m guessing it was taken from the 2003 ‘Larry Clark, Great American Rebel’ documentary. On a ‘Kids’ tip, I ignored Mac Miller too long for his backpacks, talk of reissued shoes and box logo stickers all up in the videos. Part of a generation seemingly steeped in the early ’90s, I can’t sleep any more. The current output got the “Oh shit! It’s not even wack” Dame Dash reaction from me. His music dwarfs the crossover sounds currently blowing up in the UK. In one mixtape cut this kid ethers anything by the inexplicably popular, but always unlistenable Professor Green (was that F64 a fluke or what?) or Example. And the clown Evening Standard journalist who compared Plan fucking B to Smokey Robinson needs a chin-check. Mac’s ‘K.I.D.S’ mixtape, due out in mid-August looks to be laden with imagery and samples from the 1995 film. Yelawolf and Mac have soundtracked some warm weather this year. Is it whiteboy day?


Blog post from April 2009.

4 days between blogs. Lazy. I’m afraid I had to take some time out to ruminate over the fact I found myself attracted to a heavily hyped spaceshoe this week. I never saw that one coming. I’ve also been guilty of hypocrisy too – after damning the unavailability of good US-made heritage ranges outside of Japan a week ago, I’ve also been celebrating the fact that the far east still holds gems you just don’t see elsewhere. I’m not just talking retro Danner Mountain Lights in all their Vibram Cristy soled glory and Cushman sweatshirts – that’s covered to death on the studious looking neo-hype sites – I like the bits that defy the homogenised online community.

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